It’s been a slow to start Summer but we have finally turned the corner and are now enjoying sweltering heat on a daily basis. I know it has arrived properly when the fields around our house are blooming with glorious sunflowers and you cannot sleep at night without a fan.
But it came late and so as a result, our vegetable garden has been very slow in yielding us anything much to eat! I am usually drowning under the weight of the glut of courgettes and tomatoes by now but this year, we have only had 1 courgette and a handful of cherry tomatoes so far. I am sure the glut will come soon though…
In the meantime, one vegetable which can always be relied on to provide has done it’s duty and is standing proud and bushy, waiting to be plucked… and that is my beloved chard. In fact, I was able to grab some leaves when my 2 plants were in what I might call the ‘baby chard’ stage so I wanted to make something where these tender young leaves would shine.
The leaves of chard are a bit like a firm spinach which does not release as much water when cooked. So I got to thinking about ways I would normally use spinach and I decided on trying to create a chard & ricotta filo parcel but using Brick Pastry instead as I find it so much easier to work with.
And just to tszuj them up a bit, I threw in some garlic from our garden, some chopped up sundried tomatoes and a handful of gruyere cheese. Using brick made them super easy to assemble with just a few folds. Baked in the oven for 20 minutes; they were golden, crunchy, creamy and delicious! A perfect Summer nibble!
These would of course work using filo pastry and spinach instead of chard. But I really enjoyed these parcels this way and the knowledge that I am at least harvesting something edible from the garden is most gratifying.
Here’s how to capture Summer in an parcel:
Swiss Chard & Ricotta Summer Parcels
6 medium to small chard leaves, central stem removed
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Ricotta
1 tbsp sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1 handful of grated Gruyere
3 sheets of brick pastry
olive oil for brushing
First of all, prepare your chard leaves by washing thoroughly and cutting out the central stem as for these parcels you only need the leaves. Roll the leaves up and slice into strips. (Chard does perish quickly once picked but if you are quick, you can use the stems in another dish…just think of them a bit like celery).
Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry your chard leaves with the garlic and plenty of seasoning until wilted nicely. Then add to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Once coolish, add your Ricotta, chopped sundried tomatoes and Gruyere and mix to combine.
Take a sheet of brick pastry which is normally round. Cut off a portion of each side of the circle and then cut in half to create 2 wide, almost strips. Take a good heaped tablespoon of your chard and ricotta filling and place it at the bottom end of a strip. Then start to fold the brick up to enclose the filling in a triangle shape and zig zag fold all the way to the top. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet seam side down. Continue with all the brick and filling.
Brush your parcels with a little olive oil to help seal them and crisp up. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C / 180C Fan, turning over halfway through. Leave them to stand for a few minutes then serve or the filling will burn your mouth. Enjoy a mouthful of Summer!
I am adding these lovely little triangles of deliciousness to a couple of blogging challenges. First of all, as they were made using a lot of ingredients from my garden, they worked out cheap to make so I am entering them into Credit Crunch Munch. The challenge belongs to Camilla from Fab Food 4 All & Helen from Fuss Free Flavours but hosted this month by Sian from Fishfingers For Tea.
Also I am entering into my old favourite Javelin Warrior’s Made With Love Mondays as once again, these are made entirely from scratch bar the Brick pastry which I fear is beyond most of us!